The Bonded are a special and unique branch of the Ishii military. Generally speaking, they specialize in what might be called special operations and missions where lesser units might not be capable of achieving success.
Even more so than other Ishii special units, they have a reputation for intense training and unyielding disciplne. Still, few people outside the Bonded and those who have worked with them know any precise details about the organization.
(Much of the following information is classified IC. This article exists for OOC purposes.)
The Bonded are technically classified as a unique species despite the fact that they are the result of two species, Lystern and Ishii, bonding. This is due to the fact that the genetic code of both individuals does change to a slight extent after bonding. This is sufficient to prevent natural reproduction with Ishii, and presumably Lystern as well.
Lystern and Ishii are capable of undergoing a most unusual process referred to as "Bonding". This occurs when a Lystern enters the system of the Ishii by way of the skin. The entirety of the process is unknown, as it has never been witnessed by an Ishii, and the Lystern refuse to speak of it to any who have asked. What is known, is that during the process, the two become as one, tied in both mind and body. The Lystern leaves the colony, and makes the Ishii's body its new host. After this, the Lystern's body seems to flow around within the Ishii's, and they share a deep mental connection, giving both full range of the other's senses. Both retain their own seperate and distinct personalities in spite of this. Both are also capable of moving the Ishii's body, but this occurs only in extreme circumstances. In combat, both minds meld to an even greater extent so as to stream-line reaction times.
The appearances of the Bonded change little. The silver strands on the Lystern do vanish, however, and when the Lystern does not consciously change its shape or location, it appears as a tattoo on the Ishii, with the rest of its body under the skin. The tattoo varies in both location and form with each of the Bonded, and the image thereof is generated by the Ishii's sub-conscious mind. Why this is so is unknown.
When Bonded, the two "bond-mates", as they are called, gain many new physical traits. The muscular systems of the Ishii are enhanced greatly when Bonded, as are the overall senses of both. The metallic nature of the Lystern's exterior forms an effective armor when on top of the Ishii's skin, and is capable of blocking a variety of attacks. In addition, the effects of an IAC transformation are greatly increased, and can become permanent if left untreated (see below for more information).
Bonding is an incredibly rare occurrance, and happens almost exclusively immediately after the birth of the Ishii, and is only known to occur in a colony with no outside witnesses. Some stories have been recorded involving exceptions to these, but such tales are commonly considered to be myths or legends.
Ishii Aggression Complex
Another key change is in how Bonded are affected by the Ishii Aggression Complex.
Notably, Bonded are far more susceptible to an I.A.C. trigger than non-Bonded and the mental and physical effects are far more pronounced. That is to say that a Bonded in the Complex will have a far greater tolerances to stimuli such as pain, will have an even greater increase in sensitivity to other senses, will have their strength magnified by a greater value, and will be even more determined in carrying out their goal. Furthermore, the presence of the Lystern adds more elements unique to Bonded. While in the Complex the Lystern will expand greatly so as to cover the Ishii's entire body and the silver strands that usually only appear on non-Bonded Lystern will re-emerge.
Whereas non-Bonded Ishii will exit the Complex if they fall unconscious or achieve the goal the Complex was triggered by, a Bonded will remain in the Complex until treated by a Lystern colony or killed.
All members of the Bonded species are also recruited into the Bonded military branch. This essentially occurs once the Ishii and the Lystern have Bonded as officials will then take the newly Bonded pair to the nearest aliatre after informing the parents. Conflicts with parents do occur, but due to the common Ishii perception of Bonded as abominations, these are very rare.
The Bonded have a somewhat less rigid structure than conventional military units. This is primarily due to the fact that their missions are unique instances that often have very fluid circumstances surrounding them. As such, the Bonded must also be very flexible in order to appropriately confront missions.
With regards to ranks, it should be noted that an individual of a given rank can be elevated or lowered for a time in order to produce a larger hierarchy.
Squads: The smallest and most common independant unit, they serve as the building block for all larger units. They are typically composed of anywhere from 5 to 15 Bonded. When squads are formed efforts are taken to group Bonded who have worked with each other previously together in order to promote team unity and cohesiveness.
Within the squad, team members are given specialized roles as needs require. Naturally, other squad members can also take on said roles should that team member be incapable of fulfilling it. Elevation of ro is a common method of creating an in-unit hierarchy.
ro: A Bonded that has successfully graduated training. They form the largest component of the Bonded and handle most of the missions in squad-based units.
sa: Essentially the highest rank of Bonded. There are always very few sa, given the excessively difficult conditions required to be promoted to such a rank. These may take a more independant role than other Bonded, including independant, sensitive, or complex missions.